Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim reveals big dreams about Cristiano Ronaldo’s returns

Ronaldo trained with the United first team for the first time on Tuesday since his refusal to come on as a late substitute in last week’s victory over Tottenham.

The 37-year-old, who was desperate to leave Old Trafford in the summer, was banished by Erik ten Hag for his act of defiance and was forced to sit out Saturday’s heavyweight Premier League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

He has been linked with a United exit when the transfer window reopens in January, with Chelsea heavily linked, but a romantic return to Sporting – the Portuguese club where Ronaldo started his career – has also been mooted.

Amorim, on the other hand, has admitted that Sporting ‘doesn’t have the money to pay his wages,’ implying that Ronaldo would have to take a significant pay cut to rejoin his former club.

‘Ronaldo is a top player,’ Amorim said ahead of Sporting’s Champions League match against Tottenham on Wednesday in north London.

‘He plays for Manchester United.’ Everyone in Sporting hopes for Cristiano’s return, but we don’t have the funds to pay his salary.

I think he is happy in Manchester but is not playing so that is the problem.

‘But I have my problems so it is Ten Hag’s problem! I am very happy with my players, no problem at all at the moment.’

Ronaldo spent five years at Sporting between 1997 and 2002 – becoming the first player to represent their U16, U17, and U18 teams as well as the B team and the first team all within a single season – as he made his full debut in 2002-03.

He then moved to Manchester United for his first stint in 2003, signed by legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

He is considered a hero at Sporting, with his memorabilia featuring heavily at the club’s official museum.

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